Film Production Studio plans to build facility in the La Cima Development of San Marcos

Sierra Martin | Managing Editor

SAN MARCOS — The San Marcos City Council will meet on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, to discuss and vote on several agenda items, including approving a tax incentive for a studio facility for film and video production within the La Cima Development.

Councilmembers will consider approving a Chapter 380 Economic Development Incentive Agreement with Hill Country LLC, which would provide incentives of refunds of a percentage of real estate and personal property taxes over five years. The film and video production facility would be a total capital investment of $267 million dollars. The facility would be a minimum of 820,000 square feet of space in the La Cima Development of San Marcos, located at 6202 West Centerpoint Road.

Hill Country Studios plans to develop a state-of-the-art motion picture studio facility on approximately 209 acres of land. The motion picture studio will include 12 sound stages, at least two of which will be equipped with state-of-the-art virtual production stages, four workshops, backlots, production offices and a commissary.

The Film Production Studio anticipates having 22 full-time employees at $100,000 average salary and up to 1,400 contract workers with an average of 1,200 on production products at $80,000 salary.

Construction of the film studio is expected to commence in April of 2023 in multiple phases that will be completed in August 2025. According to the presentation that will be shown to councilmembers, an average of $250,000 per day is contributed to the local economy by major motion pictures and $150,000 for single one-hour tv episodes shot on location.

The presentation also says local vendors will benefit from work on projects, including caterers, dry cleaners, lumber suppliers, digital equipment suppliers, electricians, commercial real estate agents, tailors, plumbers and carpenters. Additionally, there would be an opportunity for potential collaboration with Texas State University and San Marcos CISD for internship and training opportunities.

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15 Comments

  1. This is a terrible location for this type of development. They would be paving almost 20 acres of the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone. There are plenty of other locations where this could be built in less environmentally-sensitive areas.

  2. Serious question… Why would anyone want to film in San Marcos? You’ve got major cities to our north and south for urban filming. You’ve got ranches all around for “rural” shots. And floor space, Starplex is still looking for an occupant. What is the opportunity here?

    1. They aren’t actually filming in San Marcos. They are building soundstages to film in. Like sitcom stages. They probably picked Central Texas because of its booming population. San Marcos is right in between Austin and SA and the land has a good balance of cost and being around amenities. Also Starplex is an aging building and doesn’t have the room they’re looking for plus the cost of actually refurbishing everything to work with their soundstages would be a dumb decision. Starplex will either remain empty or be demolished.

  3. So San Marcos wants its own version of Old Tucson Studios? I suggest looking into the history, productive life, and problems associated with that project before handing over our land to a movie studio.

    1. Mr. Holeman,
      The land isn’t owned by the city and actually sits in the county until it is platted. Once it is platted it is then annexed into the city per the development agreement between the city and La Cima. The production company is purchasing the land from the La Cima Development.

  4. It is impressive to see how much revenue this project will bring!!
    With that said, why do we(I) need to give them part of the taxes we(I) pay into to city/county for them to
    make all that money?
    If these taxing entities(city/county/state/federal) have so much money they can hand out some, I say we(I) are taxed too friggin much!

    1. Careful… Potentially will bring. I’m sure similar projections were used to sell the Alamodome. Now it hosts two amateur football games per year, and San Antonio has shifted all the pro teams to the newly built AT&T center.

  5. Just curious, what happened to protecting the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone? As of today’s date we are currently in Stage 2 water restrictions so HOW is adding a INCREASED demand to our current LIMITED water resources AND paving over the recharge zone going to help??? Not to mention the “accidental spills” that take place on a construction site and in parking lots that will drain into the aquifer. This has got to be a joke, a very bad joke.

  6. Water runoff from paving and the buildings can be captured into some form of a detention basin where it will still perk into the aquifer. There are many common methods of low impact development. Do not automatically assume the water is lost just because the land is utilized, this is how communities kill jobs that keep families together work in a healthy, multigenerational city.

    1. Still, that is a large piece of land where other species will be losing their habitat. There are more things in life than the economy and jobs.

  7. La Cima residents already pay enormous amounts each year towards the cost of “development”. Not to mention the cave / sink hole that was discovered while excavating a lot here in this environmentally sensitive zone. Money seems to be out weighing environmental concerns here. We already have so many “issues” in regard to how contractors “develop” this area by chopping down massive 100 to 300 year old ” unprotected/ (no heritage protection in SMTX) oaks because they don’t want to push a slab back 20 feet, even though backyard areas are very ample, and then plant small ones grown in California, to replace them. Makes me sick we even bought here, not knowing how ill treated this natural habitat is discarded, and never made aware of this massive commercial building coming. Am sure this filming studio will get approved because Greed seems to always over shadow any concerns for conservation here. Any answer to this will just be some smooth talking because they want what they want. Goodbye to the aquifer concerns, new money is more important!

  8. How much movie production is occurring in Texas these days? Though Texas has much to offer a production, I’m not sure we have the financial incentives in place to offer producers. In fact, we haven’t for some time and, sadly, that’s why we lost so much of our excellent local crew people to neighboring states where film producers were being offered substantial packages. Having the facilities is great, but only IF producers are willing to bring large projects here from L.A. Remember the film studios at the old Mueller airport?

    1. No. Please explain. Wikipedia says the airport closed and a few film societies and production companies moved in. But please provide some extra background.

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